What is the meaning of "decided" in your heart, if decisions are made in the mind!?
2 Cor 9:7 - Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver.
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A literal translation of the Greek text reads:
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart [so let him give] not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." (A.V.)
Jesus also said that "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34). This adds up to show that if a Christian has a tender heart, a feeling heart, towards others in need, he will be prompted by that sincerity of heart to give what he can, and under no compulsion. It will be a decision to give what he can, that originates in his tender-heartedness.
Even when a person is so poor as to have almost nothing to give, yet gives their all, for the Lord, that is the kind of heart-felt giving that the Lord loves. Jesus made that point with the widow dropping her last mite into the temple treasury (Mark 12:42-44). The principle about motivation for giving generously here, is the same as in 2 Corinthians 9:7.
So, the answer to the question is that the heart actually determines the decision to give generously in a way that pleases God. But if the giving is done under a sense of compulsion, obligation, or in order to be thought well of by others, they will fail to give cheerfully; God will know that, and God will not love such giving.
As any good Koine Greek lexicon will show, the word καρδία (kardia = "heart") was thought to be the center of human emotion, thinking and spiritual life. Here is an except from Thayer's lexicon, see appendix below.
This is the most common meaning of the word in the NT. This meaning has continued in common parlance to the modern day because we still talk about what people think in "their heart of hearts"; or, "she has stolen my heart" = I am in love with her; etc.
Thus, 2 Cor 9:7 should be understood as simply what each person decides in his/her heart, ie, their own mind and conscience.
APPENDIX - Except from Thayer concerning καρδία
universally, καρδία denotes the seat and center of all physical and spiritual life; and a. the vigor and sense of physical life (Psalm 101:5 (); στήρισον τήν καρδίαν σου ψωμῷ ἄρτου, Judges 19:5; to which add Psalm 103:15 ()): τρέφειν τάς καρδίας, James 5:5; ἐμπιπλῶν τάς καρδίας τροφῆς, Acts 14:17; βάρειν τῆς καρδίας κραιπάλῃ καί μέθη, Luke 21:34; (but see b. δ. below);
b. the center and seat of spiritual life, "the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors" (so in English heart, inner man, etc.); α. universally: Matthew 5:8; Matthew 6:21; Mark 7:19; Luke 1:51; Luke 2:51; Luke 8:12, 15; Acts 5:3; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 14:25; 2 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22; 1 Peter 3:4, etc.; plural: Matthew 9:4; Mark 2:6, 8; Mark 4:16 (R L text Tr marginal reading); Luke 1:17; Luke 2:35; Luke 5:22; (Luke 24:38 R G L marginal reading; Acts 7:51 L T Tr WH text); Romans 2:15; Romans 16:18; 2 Corinthians 3:2; Galatians 4:6; Philippians 4:7; Ephesians 5:19 Lachmann; Hebrews 8:10 (T WH marginal reading singular); Hebrews 10:16, etc. ἡ καρδία is distinguished from τό στόμα or from τά χειλεα: Matthew 15:8, 18; Mark 7:6; 2 Corinthians 6:11; Romans 10:8f; from τό πρόσωπον: 2 Corinthians 5:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:17; περιτομή καρδίας, Romans 2:29; ἀπερίτμητοι τῇ καρδία, Acts 7:51 (L T Tr WH text καρδίαις, WH marginal reading genitive καρδίας, cf. Buttmann, 170 (148)). of things done from the heart i. e. cordially or sincerely, truly (without simulation or pretence) the following phrases are used: ἐκ καρδίας (Aristophanes nub. 86), Romans 6:17; and L T Tr WH in 1 Peter 1:22, where R G ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας, as in 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22; ἀπό τῶν καρδιῶν, Matthew 18:35 (ἀπό καρδίας εὐχάριστος τοῖς θεοῖς, Antoninus 2, 3); ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ καρδία and ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας, Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30, 33; Luke 10:27, and Rec. in Acts 8:37 (Deuteronomy 6:5; Deuteronomy 26:16; Psalm 118:34 ()); μετ' ἀληθινῆς καρδίας, Hebrews 10:22. ἐρευναν τάς καρδίας, Romans 8:27; Revelation 2:23; δοκιμάζειν, 1 Thessalonians 2:4; γινώσκειν, Luke 16:15 (ἐτάζειν, Jeremiah 17:10; Psalm 7:10); διανοίγειν τήν καρδίαν (see διανοίγω, 2), Acts 16:14; ἦν ἡ καρδία καί ἡ ψυχή μία, there was perfect unanimity, agreement of heart and soul, Acts 4:32; τιθέναι τί ἐν τῇ καρδία (בְּלֵב and לֵב עַל שׂוּם, 1 Samuel 21:12; Malachi 2:2; Daniel 1:8; τιθέναι ἐν στηθεσσιν, ἐν φρεσίν, etc., in Homer), to lay a thing up in the heart to be considered more carefully and pondered, Luke 1:66; to fix in the heart i. e. to purpose, plan, to do something, Acts 5:4 (A. V. conceived in thy heart); also εἰς τήν καρδίαν (L T Tr WH ἐν τήν καρδίαν) followed by the infinitive, Luke 21:14; βάλλειν εἰς τήν καρδίαν τίνος, followed by ἵνα, to put into one's mind the design of doing a thing, John 13:2; also διδόναι followed by an infinitive, Revelation 17:17; ἀναβαίνει ἐπί τήν καρδίαν τίνος, followed by an infinitive, the purpose to do a thing comes into the mind, Acts 7:23; ἐν τῇ καρδία joined to verbs of thinking, reflecting upon, doubting, etc.: ἐνθυμεῖσθαι, διαλογίζεσθαι, Matthew 9:4; Mark 2:6, 8; Luke 3:15; Luke 5:22; λέγειν, εἰπεῖν (בְּלִבּו אָמַר), to think, consider with oneself, Matthew 24:48; Luke 12:45; Romans 10:6; Revelation 18:7 (Deuteronomy 8:17; Deuteronomy 9:4); συμβάλλειν, to revolve in mind, Luke 2:19; διακρίνεσθαι, to doubt, Mark 11:23; διαλογισμοί ἀναβαινουσι, of persons in doubt, Luke 24:38 (R G L marginal reading plural); ἀναβαίνει τί ἐπί καρδίαν, the thought of a thing enters the mind, 1 Corinthians 2:9. β. specifically, of the understanding, the faculty and seat of intelligence (often so in Homer also (cf. Nägelsbach, Homer. Theol., p. 319f; Zezschwitz, Profangräcität as above with, pp. 25f, 50); cor domicilium sapientiae, Lactantius, de opif. dei c. 10, cf. Cicero, Tusc. 1, 9; לֵב, 1 Kings 10:2; Job 12:3; Job 17:4, etc.; (cf. Meyer on Ephesians 1:18 and references)): Romans 1:21; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 1:18 (Rec. διανοίας); 2 Peter 1:19; συνιέναι τῇ καρδία, Matthew 13:15; Acts 28:27; νόειν τῇ καρδία, John 12:40. of the dullness of a mind incapable of perceiving and understanding divine things the following expressions occur: ἐπαχύνθη ἡ καρδία, Matthew 13:15; Acts 28:27, (from Isaiah 6:10); πωρουν τήν καρδίαν, John 12:40; πεπωρωμένη καρδία, Mark 6:52; Mark 8:17; ἡ πώρωσις τῆς καρδίας, Mark 3:5; Ephesians 4:18; βραδύς τῇ καρδία, slow of heart, Luke 24:25; κάλυμμα ἐπί τήν καρδίαν κεῖται, 2 Corinthians 3:15. γ. of the will and character: ἁγνίζειν καρδίας, James 4:8; καθαρίζειν τάς καρδίας, Acts 15:9 ῥερραντίσμενοι τάς καρδίας, Hebrews 10:22; καρδία εὐθεῖα (cf. Winer's Grammar, 32), Acts 8:21; πονηρά, Hebrews 3:12 (cf. 11. § 132, 24; Winer's Grammar, 194 (183)); ἀμετανόητος, Romans 2:5; γεγυμνασμενη πλεονεξίας, 2 Peter 2:14; στηρίζειν τάς καρδίας, 1 Thessalonians 3:13; βεβαιουν, in passive, Hebrews 13:9; σκληρύνειν, Hebrews 3:8; ἡ ἐπίνοια τῆς καρδίας, Acts 8:22; αἱ βουλαί τῶν καρδιῶν 1 Corinthians 4:5; προαιρεῖσθαι τῇ καρδία, 2 Corinthians 9:7; κρίνειν (to determine) and ἑδραῖος ἐν τῇ καρδία, 1 Corinthians 7:37. δ. "of the soul so far forth as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions": ἡ καρδία καιομένη ἦν, of the soul as greatly and peculiarly moved, Luke 24:32; αἱ ἐπιθυμίαι τῶν καρδιῶν, Romans 1:24; στηρίζειν τάς καρδίας, of the cultivation of constancy and endurance, James 5:8. in reference to good-will and love: ἐήξειν τινα ἐν τῇ καρδία, to have one in one's heart, of constant remembrance and steadfast affection, Philippians 1:7 (`te tamen in toto pectore semper habet' Ovid. trist. 5, 4, 24); εἶναι ἐν τῇ καρδία τίνος, to be cherished in one's heart, to be loved by one perpetually and unalterably, 2 Corinthians 7:3; εὐδοκία τῆς καρδίας, Romans 10:1. in reference to joy and pleasure: ηὐφράνθη ἡ καρδία, Acts 2:26 (from Psalm 15:9 ()); χαρήσεται ἡ καρδία, John 16:22; ἀνήρ κατά τήν καρδίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, i. e. in whom God delights, Acts 13:22; of the pleasure given by food, Acts 14:17 ((Winer's Grammar, 156 (148) note) see 2 a. above). in reference to grief, pain, anguish, etc.: ἡ λύπη πεπλήρωκε τήν καρδίαν, John 16:6; ὀδύνη τῇ καρδία μου, Romans 9:2; ἡ καρδία ταράσσεται, John 14:1, 27; συνοχή καρδίας, 2 Corinthians 2:4; βάρειν τῆς καρδίας μερίμναις βιωτικαῖς, Luke 21:34 (cf. 2 a. above); διαπρίομαι τῇ καρδία, Acts 7:54; συντετριμμένος τήν καρδίαν, Luke 4:18 R L brackets; κατενύγησαν τῇ καρδία, Acts 2:37 (L T Tr WH τήν καρδίαν); συνθρύπτειν τήν καρδίαν, Acts 21:13. ε. of a soul conscious of good or bad deeds (our conscience): 1 John 3:20f (Ecclesiastes 7:22; so לֵבָב, Job 27:6; ἡ καρδία πατασσει τινα, 1 Samuel 24:6; 2 Samuel 24:10).
The Greek text is:
ἕκαστος καθὼς προαιρεῖται τῇ καρδία, μὴ ἐκ λύπης ἢ ἐξ ἀνάγκης· ἱλαρὸν γὰρ δότην ἀγαπᾷ ὁ Θεός.
The word translated as decided in your translation is προαιρεῖται (proaireitai) - a form of the Greek word προαιρέω (proaireō), translated alternately as decide (e.g. NIV, ESV, NASB) or purpose (verb form - e.g. KJV). The RSV translates the verse:
Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
This is the only place in the New Testament that the word appears. It appears in different forms in a few places in the Greek Septuagint.
Paul is emphasizing that it is better for one to choose to do a thing willingly rather than out of compulsion. To emphasize his point, he quotes from Proverbs (22:8, Septuagint version) further in the verse:
ἄνδρα ἱλαρὸν καὶ δότην εὐλογεῖ ὁ θεός συντελέσει.
God blesses a cheerful and generous man (NETS)
John Chrysostom (4th c. Greek) explains the verse as follows:
For a man when left to himself does a thing more readily than when compelled. He dwells upon this, for having said according as he is disposed he added not grudgingly, nor of necessity. He further adds a testimony from Scripture, saying For God loveth a cheerful giver
Greek philosophers agreed, more or less, that the heart was linked to our strongest emotions, including love. Plato argued for the dominant role of the chest in love and in negative emotions of fear, anger, rage and pain. Aristotle expanded the role of the heart even further, granting it supremacy in all human processes." (http://bit.ly/3IskMDF)
It is more “chooses” than “decides”, for προαιρέω means the free choice, deliberation. The meaning is that one should not be compelled in doing a charity, but study in one’s own heart a degree of grace and charitableness and choose, thus, appropriately how much he can sacrifice with a joyful heart.